The Info List - Monument

A monument is a type of—usually three-dimensional—structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. Examples of monuments include statues, (war) memorials, historical buildings, archeological sites, and cultural assets. If there is a public interest in its preservation, a monument can for example be listed as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. [1]


1 Etymology 2 Creation and functions 3 Protection and preservation 4 Types

4.1 Examples of notable monuments

5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Etymology[edit] The origin of the word "monument" comes from the Greek mnemosynon and the Latin moneo, monere, which means 'to remind', 'to advise' or 'to warn',[2] suggesting a monument allows us to see the past thus helping us visualize what is to come in the future.[3] In English the word "monumental" is often used in reference to something of extraordinary size and power, as in monumental sculpture, but also to mean simply anything made to commemorate the dead, as a funerary monument or other example of funerary art. Creation and functions[edit] Monuments have been created for thousands of years, and they are often the most durable and famous symbols of ancient civilizations. Prehistoric tumuli, dolmens, and similar structures have been created in a large number of prehistoric cultures across the world, and the many forms of monumental tombs of the more wealthy and powerful members of a society are often the source of much of our information and art from those cultures.[4] As societies became organized on a larger scale, so monuments so large as to be difficult to destroy like the Egyptian Pyramids, the Greek Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, Indian Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
or the Moai
of Easter Island
Easter Island
have become symbols of their civilizations. In more recent times, monumental structures such as the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
and Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
have become iconic emblems of modern nation-states. The term monumentality relates to the symbolic status and physical presence of a monument. In this context, German art historian Helmut Scharf states that “A monument exists in the form of an object and also as symbol thereof. As a language symbol, a monument usually refers to something concrete, in some rare cases it is also used metaphorically [...]. A monument can be a language symbol for a unity of several monuments [...] or only for a single one, but in a broader sense it can also be used in nearly all knowable planes of being. [...] What is considered a monument always depends on the importance it attributes to the prevailing or traditional consciousness of a specific historical and social situation.” Basically, the definition framework of the term monument depends on the current historical frame conditions. Aspects of the Culture of Remembrance and cultural memory are also linked to it, as well as questions about the concepts of public sphere and durability (of the one memorized) and the form and content of the monument (work-like monument). From an art historical point of view, the dichotomy of content and form opens up the problem of the “linguistic ability” of the monument. It becomes clear that language is an eminent part of a monument and it is often represented in “non-objective” or “architectural monuments”, at least with a plaque. In this connection, the debate touches on the social mechanisms that combine with Remembrance. These are acceptance of the monument as an object, the conveyed contents and the impact of these contents. Monuments are frequently used to improve the appearance of a city or location. Planned cities such as Washington D.C., New Delhi
New Delhi
and Brasília
are often built around monuments. For example, the Washington Monument's location was conceived by L'Enfant to help organize public space in the city, before it was designed or constructed. Older cities have monuments placed at locations that are already important or are sometimes redesigned to focus on one. As Shelley suggested in his famous poem "Ozymandias" ("Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"), the purpose of monuments is very often to impress or awe. Structures created for others purposes that have been made notable by their age, size or historic significance may also be regarded as monuments. This can happen because of great age and size, as in the case of the Great Wall of China, or because an event of great importance occurred there such as the village of Oradour-sur-Glane
in France. Many countries use Ancient monument
Ancient monument
or similar terms for the official designation of protected structures or archeological sites which may originally have been ordinary domestic houses or other buildings. Monuments are also often designed to convey historical or political information, and they can thus develop an active socio-political potency. They can be used to reinforce the primacy of contemporary political power, such as the column of Trajan or the numerous statues of Lenin
in the Soviet Union. They can be used to educate the populace about important events or figures from the past, such as in the renaming of the old General Post Office Building
in New York City to the James A. Farley Building
( James Farley
James Farley
Post Office), after former Postmaster General James Farley.[5] To fulfill its informative and educative functions a monument needs to be open to the public, which means that its spatial dimension as well as its content can be experienced by the public, and be sustainable. The former may be achieved either by situating the monument in public space or by a public discussion about the it and its meaning, the latter by the materiality of the monument or if its content immediately becomes part of the collective or cultural memory. The social meanings of monuments are rarely fixed and certain and are frequently 'contested' by different social groups. As an example: whilst the former East German socialist state may have seen the Berlin Wall as a means of 'protection' from the ideological impurity of the west, dissidents and others would often argue that it was symbolic of the inherent repression and paranoia of that state. This contention of meaning is a central theme of modern 'post processual' archaeological discourse. Protection and preservation[edit] The term is often used to describe any structure that is a significant and legally protected historic work, and many countries have equivalents of what is called in United Kingdom
United Kingdom
legislation a Scheduled Monument, which often include relatively recent buildings constructed for residential or industrial purposes, with no thought at the time that they would come to be regarded as "monuments". Until recently, it was customary for archaeologists to study large monuments and pay less attention to the everyday lives of the societies that created them. New ideas about what constitutes the archaeological record have revealed that certain legislative and theoretical approaches to the subject are too focused on earlier definitions of monuments. An example has been the United Kingdom's Scheduled Ancient Monument
Scheduled Ancient Monument
laws. Other than municipal or national government that protecting the monuments in their jurisdiction, there are institutions dedicated on the efforts to protect and preserve monuments that considered to possess special natural or cultural significance for the world, such as UNESCO's World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
programme[6] and World Monuments Fund.[1] Recently, more and more monuments are being preserved digitally (in 3D models) through organisations as CyArk.[7] Types[edit]

Buildings designed as landmarks, usually built with an extraordinary feature, such being designed as the tallest, largest, or most distinctive design, e.g., the Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
in Dubai, the world's tallest structure. Cenotaphs (intended to honor the dead who are buried elsewhere) and other memorials to commemorate the dead, usually war casualties, e.g., India
Gate and Vimy Ridge Memorial, or disaster casualties, such as the Titanic Memorial, Belfast. Church monuments to commemorate the faithful dead, located above or near their grave, often featuring an effigy, e.g., St. Peter's Basilica or the medieval church Sta Maria di Collemaggio in L'Aquila. Columns, often topped with a statue, e.g., Berlin
Victory Column, Nelson's Column
in London, and Trajan's Column
in Rome. Eternal flames that are kept burning continuously, usually lit to honor unknown soldiers, e.g., at the Tomb
of Unknown Soldier in Moscow or at the John F. Kennedy gravesite
John F. Kennedy gravesite
in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery. Fountains, water-pouring structures usually placed in formal gardens or town squares, e.g., Fontaines de la Concorde
Fontaines de la Concorde
and Gardens of Versailles. Gravestones, small monuments to the deceased, placed at their gravesites, e.g., the tombs and vaults of veterans in Les Invalides and Srebrenica Genocide Memorial. Mausoleums and tombs to honor the dead, e.g., the Great Pyramid
of Giza, Libyco-Punic Mausoleum
of Dougga and Taj Mahal. Monoliths erected for religious or commemorative purposes, e.g., Stonehenge. Mosque Monuments, places of worship that generally have domes and minarets that stand out against the skyline. They also usually feature highly skilled Islamic calligraphy
Islamic calligraphy
and geometric artwork, e.g., the Mosque of the Prophet. Mounds erected to commemorate great leaders or events, e.g., Kościuszko Mound. Obelisks, usually erected to commemorate great leaders, e.g., Cleopatra's Needle in London, the National Monument
("Monas") in Central Jakarta, and the Washington Monument
Washington Monument
in Washington, D.C. Palaces, imposing royal residences designed to impress people with their grandeur and greatness, e.g., Forbidden City
Forbidden City
in Beijing, Palace of Versailles, and Schwerin Palace
in Schwerin. Searchlights to project a powerful beam of light, e.g., Tribute in Light in the National September 11 Memorial
& Museum in New York City, commemorating the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
of 2001. Statues of famous individuals or symbols, e.g., the Niederwalddenkmal (Germania) in Hesse, Liberty Enlightening the World (commonly known as the Statue
of Liberty) in New York City, and The Motherland Calls
The Motherland Calls
in Volgograd. Temples or religious structures built for pilgrimage, ritual or commemorative purposes, e.g., Borobudur
in Magelang and Kaaba
in Mecca. Terminating vistas, layout design for urban monuments on the end of an avenue, e.g., Opera Garnier
Opera Garnier
in Paris. Triumphal arches, almost always to commemorate military successes, e.g., the Arch of Constantine
Arch of Constantine
in Rome
and Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
de l'Étoile in Paris. War memorials, e.g., the Iwo Jima Memorial
in Arlington, VA, the Laboe Naval Memorial, the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial
in St Avold,[8] and the Soviet War Memorial
in Berlin.

Examples of notable monuments[edit]

Victoria monument in London, a memorial to Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
of the British Empire

Independence Monument
in Kyiv commemorate the Independence of Ukraine

El Ángel
El Ángel
national monument built to commemorate the independence of Mexico

The Statue
of Liberty, the symbol of the United States' freedom

The Cristo Redentor, a modern religious monument in Brazil

The Maqam Echahid, in Algiers, iconic concrete monument commemorating the Algerian war for independence

The Eiffel Tower, in Paris, a monument commemorating the French Revolution for its centenary

Monas in Jakarta, commemorates the Indonesian struggle for independence

The Juche
Tower, a symbol of North Korea's "self reliant" Juche political stance

in Astana, describes a folktale about a mythical tree of life and a magic bird of happiness

Azadi tower
Azadi tower
in Tehran, commemorates the 2,500 years of the Persian Empire and the history of Iran

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate
in Berlin, national symbol of Germany
and its unity

mausoleum in Moscow, an enduring symbol of Soviet Union Communism
and Cold War

The Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
in Taipei
is a monument to honor Chiang Kai-shek

The Taj Mahal, a mausoleum in India

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
where Saint James is buried

Kościuszko Mound, Poland
commemorates Tadeusz Kościuszko

The Bell Telephone Memorial, commemorates the invention of the telephone, Brantford, Ontario

The Hiroshima
and Atomic Bomb Dome to remember the victims of August 6, 1945 atomic bombing

See also[edit]

Antiquities Act English Heritage Archive, holds data on England's monuments Memorial Monumental sculpture National memorial National monument


^ a b "Preserving Cultural Heritages". wmf.org. World Monument
Fund. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ " Monument
- definition of". thefreedictionary.com. The Free Dictionary by Farlex. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ John Young Cole; Henry Hope Reed (1997). The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Norton. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-393-04563-5.  ^ Patton, Mark (1993) Statements in Stone: Monuments and Society in Neolithic Brittany. Routledge, London, ISBN 0415067294, pp. 1–7 ^ David Gardner Chardavoyne (2012), United States
United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: People, Law, and Politics, Wayne State University Press, p. 194 ^ "World Heritage". unesco.org.  ^ CyArk
preserving monuments digitally. slashgear.com. October 22, 2013 ^ "Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial". abmc.gov. 

Further reading[edit]

Choay, Françoise (2001). The invention of the historic monument. Cambridge University Press.  Gangopadhyay, Subinoy (2002). Testimony of Stone : Monuments of India. Dasgupta & Co.  Phillips, Cynthia; Priwer, Shana (2008). Ancient Monuments. M E Sharpe Reference.  Stierlin, Henri (2005). Great monuments of the ancient world. Thames & Hudson. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Monuments

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monuments and memorials in unidentified countries.

Look up monument in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Website of Monuments and Sculptures in UK Monuments of India
at kamat.com Pictures and Articles of Monuments from around the world Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina

Authority control

LCCN: sh85087089 GND: 4011453-3 BNF: cb119325230 (data) NDL: 00565820 B